Not as fun as it sounds, I went away to the Allume Social Media conference last weekend (formerly the Relevant conference I went to 2 years ago). I wish I could say it was an amazing experience, but I felt like it lost it's intimacy. At first I thought maybe it was because I had Nora, but in talking to a few other women who had attended previously, we all agreed it wasn't as intimate and it just wasn't the conference we expected. It doesn't mean there was anything wrong with the conference, just that it maybe has changed and is no longer for me.
This is Nora with the coordinator Sarah Mae who fell in love with Nora and scooped her up.
However, I did enjoy getting to see and hang out with some ladies I love. I roomed with my girl Ashley who blogs at Our Daily Chocolate, saw my roommate Kaira from the first year, and caught up with many other ladies I met the first time around. I also met Annie, who makes beautiful paintings because she had included a print of her Be Small print in our swag bag. Later I met her in a breakaway session and I cannot wait to show you how I'm using the print and some of her awesome pieces.
Nora with my roomie's daughter. They're friends. Just chillin' in the stroller while we stood waiting.
Not much else, sadly. I missed every other session. Even the keynotes I'm going to have to watch online. Because they were recording, the women with babies were asked to leave the dining room if our kids were either crying, squealing, or laughing too loud. Which means I didn't get to see the keynote speaker Darren Rowse, the man behind ProBlogger.net and Digital-Photography-School.com. He was one I really wanted to see, and while the Mommy Lounge had a speaker, as you can imagine I missed out on the visuals, and I'm a visual person. Couldn't focus at all to a little speaker. I did find where they posted it online, so I'll watch it soon.
I did think they were at least audiotaping all of the sessions. No. So I missed out on the point of the conference (partially because of Nora, partially because the rooms were packed). Hopefully I can find a way to get notes from some friends. But on a positive note I did connect with different people and there are book reviews and some great organizations coming soon. I also picked up some bracelets and a bag made by women in India. The job keeps them out of prostitution, and the products are beautiful. This bag is actually little and for Nora.
So I'm not planning on attending next year. It was a lot of money to end up wanting to come home a day early (I stuck it out and honestly wish I hadn't). The first year I came refreshed and on fire, this year I came home frustrated with my experience and drained of energy. Just in time to have to prepare for a hurricane!